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India vs Australia: Ajinkya Rahane's Time to Step Up, Will do Tremendous Job in My Absence - Virat Kohli

India vs Australia: Ajinkya Rahane's Time to Step Up, Will do Tremendous Job in My Absence - Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has backed Ajinkya Rahane to do a 'tremendous job' as captain saying the Indian team's cricket has always been a collective effort not depending on individuals.

Virat Kohli has backed Ajinkya Rahane to do a ‘tremendous job’ as captain saying the Indian team’s cricket has always been a collective effort not depending on individuals.

Rahane will take over captaincy from Kohli after the first Test, with the latter returning home for the birth of his first child.

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“We’ve had a lot of mutual understanding and respect over the years, we’ve had great partnerships based on trust. Jinx has done a tremendous job in the tour games," Kohli said in the pre-match press conference.

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“He’s very composed and knows the strengths of our team. Our cricket has been a collective effort of the whole team, it’s a cultural effort and not just about me strategising things and putting things in front of people. We already know the template we play with.

“We’re absolutely on the same page. I’m sure he’ll do a tremendous job in my absence. But the focus remains for me to provide captaincy and leadership while I’m here. From then on, I’m confident that Jinx will do a tremendous job. I’ve said this previously as well, I feel like this is his time to really step up and perform strongly as an individual, and as a captain as well he’ll do a great job. We’re on the same page completely and the vision is to put in good performances and make sure we are competing every game and win the series."

The only Test Kohli will be leading will be a day-night game in Adelaide. Kohli said a pink-ball Test has a lot of variables, which means the team can’t have a ‘pre-planned’ strategy.

“I think you can have a fair idea on how you want to go about things, but I don’t think you can completely plan anything in Test cricket. It’s all about encountering and reacting to situations, understanding when you need to attack, when you need to defend, when you need to bat through the session. Start the session well, end it well," he explained.

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“Pink ball Test brings with it more variables, like the twilight period which is a tricky one to bat in that situation. Probably bowling in the first session as well, you have to be more disciplined and then at night do more with the ball. So it’s the other way around when you compare to a normal Test scenario and something we’ll have to analyse and monitor as we go into the Test match. We’re actually ready to be able to come up with our plans in any situation. We have to be prepared but you can’t pre-plan anything in a Test especially in a pink-ball Test."

Australia have been hit by plenty of injuries in the build up to the series with David Warner out of the first game and even Steve Smith suffering a back injury scare on Tuesday, before returning to the nets on Wednesday. Kohli said India’s focus is not on the Australian camp.

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“I don’t think the back has got anything to do with us changing our plans to him or any other batter," he said.

“Our plans are pretty much sorted and ready for all the batsmen. We have to execute those plans consistently and efficiently to get those breakthroughs and dismiss them at the right times. We’re not focused on whether their players are going to start or not, we’re only focused on what we can do as a team."

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